Once upon a time, in a small village in Vietnam, there was a little boy named Tich Chu. He was an orphaned child, living with his grandma. Grandma had to work very hard to raise him; she gave him all her love and a thoughtful care. However, Tich Chu seemed not to love her; he spent all time hanging out with his friends and never cared about Grandma. One day, Grandma was so sick that she could not get up. Meanwhile, Tich Chu was not home, still busy playing with his friends. Grandma was very thirsty; and she started calling Tich Chu:
- Tich Chu, please give me a sip of water. I am very thirsty.
She called him one time, two times, and three times; but Tich Chu did not show up. Then, she turned into a bird and flied away. Just at that moment, Tich Chu came home looking for something to eat; and he saw everything happened to Grandma. He ran after the bird and cried:
- No, Grandma, don’t fly away. Please stay with me!
- I am very thirsty; I have to find water – replied the bird; and she kept flying away.
Tich Chu kept running after the bird while crying bitterly. Finally, the bird landed next to a spring and started to drink water there. Tich Chu tried to approach the bird and insisted:
- Grandma, I’m sorry, I’m very sorry. Please come back with me. I will give you water, I will take care of you. Please don’t leave me alone.
- It’s too late, too late, Tich Chu. I cannot turn back to a human anymore. Cuckoo, cuckoo, koo…- said sadly the bird.
Tich Chu burst into crying desperately. He felt regret for having afflicted his Grandma before; and he did not know how to have her back with him. Suddenly, a beautiful fairy appeared and asked why he was crying. Tich Chu told everything to the fairy. Then, the fairy said:
- If you want your Grandma back to be a human, you should let her drink the water from a magical spring in a distant land. It is very far from here. I am not sure if you can do it.
- Yes, I can. I will do whatever to turn my Grandma back to a human – said determinedly Tich Chu.
The fairy gave him a pitcher and showed him how to get to the magic spring. After going over many mountains and rivers, finally, Tich Chu found the spring and filled his pitcher with its water. He came back and had the Grandma bird drank that water. The magic indeed worked; his Grandma was back to be a human. From that day on, Tich Chu always took good care of Grandma; and he never left her alone in sickness. (Nam Giang Trinh, Vietnam, 2015)